Panama Dining Room and Bar
Level 3 - 231 Smith Street, Fitzroy
03 9417 7663
Be it hipsters trolling vintage stores, or cafe dwellers solving the problems of the world one macchiato at a time, Fitzroy has well and truly earned its alternative-edgy reputation.
As a perfect credit, Panama Dining Room is the textbook venue for its Smith Street location. This rustic New York–style first-floor loft is the ideal place for you to kick back and watch the hustle and bustle of Fitzroy’s comings and goings.
Since 2014, owner Luke Stepsys has teamed up with Head Chef, Ayan Erkoc, whose profile boasts experience at a range of Sydney, Adelaide and now Melbourne’s best restaurants. Their vision for an ambient space serving an inventive European menu that reflects the uniqueness of its location has certainly come to fruition, as contented customers are constantly filing in and out of Panama’s doors.
With a separate bar and restaurant menu to choose from, the option for nibbles and cocktails, or a three-course meal is on the table. The bar menu features decadent appetisers such as the soft shell crab in steamed buns with cucumber and tartare, puffed pork crackling with parsley salt and piccalilli or grilled saganaki with honey, oregano and pistachio.
For something more substantial, head across to the restaurant, where the fine dining menu features rainbow trout with karkalla, sea grapes, arugula and Jerusalem artichokes, or the gnocchi with mushrooms, broccoli and parmesan.
With an eclectic furnishing style, a scattering of pool tables and DJs spinning by night, there is no shortage of funky character. The exposed brickwork is set off by the floor-to-ceiling arched windows, letting the daylight flood in over the round tables, which is perfect for long boozy dinners, or sharing the intimate corner booths made for date night.
For the quintessential Melbourne experience, Panama Dining Room and Bar is bringing home the wow factor with its iconic location, great service and even better food.